A fresh new week of football is upon us, and with it is the NFL Week 2 Pros vs. Joes report. Reading the market is one of the keys to success as a handicapper. Part of reading the market is identifying where the public is putting their money, and where the Pros are betting their bankroll. If you want to be a sports bettor that is consistently profitable over time, you need to know how to read the market.
There are two effective ways of doing this.
Don’t Chase Steam
Another way to read the market to your advantage is to not chase a number that has already been steamed up by the big bettors early in the week. If that number above opened at -2.5 you may not want to hop on after the big money has pushed it up to -4.5.
In the Pros vs. Joes report we will be looking at two metrics: ticket count, and dollars wagered. Sometimes the ticket count and the dollars wagered will be the same. An example this week where that is occurring is the Colts at Titans. The Titans are receiving 62% of the bets, and 62% of the money. Pros and Joes are in agreement that the Titans are the preferred side in this one.
When you see a large split in these numbers, it likely means that the Pros are on one side, while the Joes are on the other. If 60% of the bets are on the Eagles but 60% of the money is on the Redskins, that means that more big bettors, or “Pros,” are on the Redskins. The bigger the gap, the more you should pay attention.
For this article we will look at the top three discrepancies between ticket count and dollars wagered.
Chargers at Lions (+2)
In this matchup we have one of the NFL’s best teams in 2018, the Los Angeles Chargers, traveling to a perennial bottom feeder in the Detroit Lions. The Lions stayed on brand last week, blowing a game late to Kyler Murray who looked like a little kid on the field.
The Lions contained the Cardinals offense for three quarter before Larry Fitzgerald blew up for the majority of his 118 yards in the fourth quarter. The Detroit run defense was alright, but David Johnson still ran for 82 yards on 18 carries.
On offense, Matthew Stafford looked to be in vintage form with 385 yards passing on 27-45 for 3 TD and 0 INT. The Lions made a commitment to the run game, but Kerryon Johnson managed just 3.1 yards per
Lions Running Game
Despite an unimpressive week one on the ground, the Lions may be able to get the running game going against the Chargers if they continue to commit to it. A week ago, the Chargers allowed Marlon Mack to run circles on their defense with 174 yards on 25 carries.
It’s hard to judge the Lions defense after facing a rookie head coach and rookie quarterback in their first game, but you have to be somewhat impressed that the Cardinals were held to 6-points for the majority of the game.
NFL Week 2 Pros vs. Joes on Chargers at Texans.
The big bettors were seemingly impressed enough to get down on the Lions this week. Here’s how the ticket count and dollars wagered breaks down:
- 74% of the bets are on the Chargers.
- 60% of the money is Chargers.
- Split: 14% in favor of the Lions.
The Spread: This line opened at Chargers -2.5 and has moved down to Chargers -2.
Jaguars (+9) at Texans
The Jaguars were pretty awful in all phases on Sunday. Most expected that the Chiefs would face at least a little resistance from the Jaguars defense, but instead they did whatever they wanted on offense. Even Shady McCoy looked like he was drinking from the fountain of youth, running for 81 yards on 10 carries. Patty Mahomes was completing passes to wide open receivers, and this was never really a game.
Mysterious Mustached Minshew
Minshew was a complete unknown heading into this game, but had a very impressive 2018 season for Mike Leach after transferring from Eastern Carolina. In his only year at Washington State, Minshew completed 70.7% of his passes and threw for 4779 yards with 38 TD to 9 INT. The Foles injury may have actually been a blessing in disguise.
Later that night the Texans helped to deliver the most entertaining game of the Week 1 slate. Deshaun Watson looked great and reinforced that he is a top tier quarterback in the NFL. Despite losing to the Saints by 2-points on a last second field goal, the Texans covered the 7-point spread and the public has been lining up to back Texans coming back home against the now disappointing Jaguars.
NFL Week 2 Pros vs. Joes on Jaguars at Texans.
Currently, here’s the cash and ticket count on Jaguars at Texans:
- 59% of the bets are on the Jaguars.
- 75% of the money is Jaguars.
- Split: 16% in favor of the Jaguars.
The Spread: This line opened at Jaguars +8.5 and has moved up to Jaguars +9.
Chiefs at Raiders (+7)
We know the public loves to back the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes is electric, he’s the best quarterback in the NFL on the best offense in the league. And the Chiefs consistently win games despite trotting out an abysmal defense every week.
Meanwhile, the stink still seems to be on the Raiders after the Antonio Brown drama. Despite an impressive Monday night victory over what should be a good Broncos defense, the public isn’t buying it.
NFL Week 2 Pros vs. Joes on Chiefs at Raiders.
This is the only true Pros vs. Joes game, where the majority of the bets are on one side, while the majority of the money is on the other. Here’s the breakdown:
- 70% of the bets are on the Chiefs.
- 60% of the money is Raiders.
- Split: 30% in favor of the Raiders.
The Spread: This game opened at Chiefs -7 and has not moved off the key number.
For more NFL betting analysis, head to our Free Picks page.